BOSTON – Two Worcester residents have pleaded guilty to their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving fentanyl and heroin. The defendants pleaded guilty on the morning of June 13, 2022, upon commencing jury selection for their previously scheduled trial.
Cintia Franco, 34, and Amauris Antonio Rosario Garcia, a/k/a “Animal,” 39, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl; conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin; and distribution of and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl. Garcia also pleaded guilty to distribution of and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Oct. 19, 2022. Franco and Garcia were charged in October 2019 along with co-conspirators John Robles and Jector Torres.
“The defendants engaged in a conspiracy to distribute deadly drugs, many of which disguised as pharmaceutical-grade prescription pills, into the Worcester community and profit off of people’s pain and suffering,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “The opioid epidemic is still raging. Every day, fentanyl takes countless lives and causes irreversible destruction and harm in our communities across the Commonwealth and the country. Drug traffickers will be prosecuted and removed from our communities. This is a priority in my administration.”
In early 2019, Robles was identified by investigators selling purported oxycodone pills, which were later determined to be counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, at Albino’s Market in Worcester. Intercepted communications from Robles’ phone identified that Garcia was the supply source and that Garcia was distributing pills through Robles and Torres. The investigation also revealed that Garcia and Franco were distributing heroin, fentanyl pills and powdered fentanyl directly to users in Worcester.
Robles and Torres previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27, 2022 and Oct. 17, 2022, respectively.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl provides for a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. All other charges each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
U.S. Attorney Rollins and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Worcester Police Department, Massachusetts State Police and Connecticut State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristen M. Noto and Danial E. Bennett of Rollins’ Worcester Branch Office are prosecuting the case.